For the next month, Sunshine Terrace Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center staff members will be busy at work making activity packages filled with games, puzzles and toys for Adopt-a-Grandparent volunteers to share with the center’s residents.
Up to this point, the volunteers have been coming up with their own ideas for activities to entertain their adopted grandparents.
“We just want to be able to help the volunteers out and give them ideas of things to do if they need it,” said Chelsey Hansen, a recreation therapy aide at the center. “We don’t want them to get bored playing bingo every night.”
Hansen said they are hoping the packages will encourage volunteers to keep coming back.
“It has taught me that the best way to feel good about yourself is to reach outward and lift others up,” said Celeste Hancock, a volunteer in the program.
Sunshine Terrace welcomes anyone 16 years or older with at least two extra hours a week to volunteer for the Adopt-a-Grandparent program.
“The impact is personal,” said Amy Anderson, the outreach director. “We all like to feel like we’re important and loved and this program does that for these people.”
The program was created to improve the Sunshine Terrace residents’ quality of life. Hansen referred to the volunteers as the “life-blood of this program.”
“The more, the merrier,” said Janena Bowan, an adopted grandparent. “I love it when they bring their kids.”
“They make me feel wanted,” said Marlo Carroll, another grandparent.
Anderson said they are trying to raise awareness for the program through Facebook. They have also been to the Volunteer Fair on the Utah State University campus and have worked with the Cache Valley Volunteer Center to encourage anyone who likes spending time with the elderly to join the program.
Anna Tuckett, Natalie Deaver, Cynthia Dixon, Alix Zelener, Janessa Fillingim and Mark Rosa contributed to this report.